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JUICE: Flying a Jet Plane?

12 Dec

California may create a central power purchasing agency to fill gaps in the state’s electricity supply to ensure the grid remains reliable, and possibly to act as the provider of last resort. The state essentially did the same some 17 years ago with less than stellar results, though the circumstances were different. Out of the […]

Undercurrents: CPUC Okays $812 M for DWR Crisis Bond Charges

4 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission approved passing through to ratepayers the cost of Department of Water Resources’ bonds arising from the multi-billion dollar power contracts the state signed in the midst of the 2000-01 energy crisis. With no discussion late last week, the CPUC signed off on allocating DWR’s $812 million in 2019 bond service […]

Shorts

2 Apr

Updated April 5 California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  joined a coalition of Attorneys General suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities. “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has a legal responsibility to reduce methane emissions from existing oil and natural gas operations. We are taking him to court […]

SMUD Approves WaterFix Environmental Document

20 Feb

The California WaterFix project, a potential $16 billion dollar public works plan to divert water from the state’s largest delta in order to improve water supplies, has moved a little closer to reality after a Feb. 15 vote by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s board. On a 7-0 vote, the SMUD board approved findings within […]

Shorts

28 Mar

The March 30 state snow survey shows the snowpack is at 164 percent of the historical average, at 45.8 inches, meaning high river flows and full reservoirs. “California enters the snowmelt season with a large snowpack that will result in high water in many rivers through the spring,” said Michael Anderson, state climatologist. Electronic measurements […]

Undercurrents: Edison Nets Just $72 M from San Onofre Arbitration

14 Mar

A disappointing ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce in an arbitration proceeding over failed steam generators at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station will provide ratepayers little relief. In its decision in the case of Edison against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the arbitration panel ordered the Japanese maker of the steam generators to […]

SHORTS

1 Mar

California’s Feb. 22 carbon emissions rights auction showed little demand based on results released March 1. Fewer than one-fifth of the 2017 allowances offered for sale actually sold. Interest was even more lackluster for 2020 allowances, with only about 7 percent of those offered selling. Both types of allowances went for $13.57 a ton. The […]

Hydro at Oroville Dam Remains Closed

23 Feb

Last weekend’s heavy precipitation kept offline the state’s large hydropower plant next to the compromised Oroville Dam in Butte County. The Department of Water Resources’ 819 MW Hyatt hydro facility can’t be restarted because of continued high water and debris levels in the upstream diversion pool, said DWR spokesperson Chris Orrock. It is not known […]

Shorts

15 Feb

The California Department of Water Resources was ordered this week to perform a “forensic analysis” of the failure of the spillway at Oroville Dam by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC, which licenses dams that produce hydropower like Oroville, also ordered the department to convene an independent board of consultants to review the situation and […]

SHORTS

5 Jan

Tesla and Panasonic Jan. 4 began mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the automaker’s “Gigafactory” in Nevada. They will be used in Tesla’s energy storage products and Model 3 car. Production is underway for cells that will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products. Model 3 car cell production will […]

SHORTS

17 Dec

The Department of Water Resources entered a 20-year solar power purchase agreement Dec. 15 with the Solverde I Solar Facility. The 85 MW photovoltaic facility near Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County uses solar tracking technology to enhance output. DWR said that through the life of the contract Solverde should provide it with nearly 4.8 million […]

Snowpack Points to Low Hydropower Output

6 Mar

The Department of Water Resources’ manual reading of Sierra snowpack—closely related to hydropower production in spring and summer—again yielded disappointing results March 3 showing water content at just 5 percent of normal. (more…)

CLIMATE ROUNDUP: Prices Inch Up in CA-Quebec Carbon Auction

27 Feb

In the second carbon emissions rights auction held jointly by California and Quebec, 73,610,528 vintage 2015 allowances were sold for $12.21 apiece. (more…)

CPUC Shortens Energy Crisis Bond Refinancing Review

27 Feb

Energy regulators agreed to scale back their laborious assessment of proposals by the Department of Water to reduce bond costs for the remaining energy contracts signed in 2001 to save ratepayers money. (more…)

Hydro Outlook Remains Gloomy Despite Hope

20 Feb

A warm, dry winter is dimming the outlook for hydropower supplies this spring and summer both in California and the Pacific Northwest. (more…)

Motivating Low-Income Ratepayers to Cut Water Use

6 Feb

How to fund water conservation programs targeting low-income households was a key topic at the Low Income Oversight Board’s Feb. 4 meeting held at the California Public Utilities Commission. (more…)

CPUC & ORA Proposed Budgets on Solid Ground

16 Jan

No major changes.

SHORTS

9 Jan

DWR taps solar energy to pump water.